The new guard index comes with just one detachment, the Combine Regiment. This comes with the detachment rule, Born Soldiers, four enhancements and six stratagems.
Born Soldiers is a continuation of the old rules for guard. If any unit stays still then their ranged weapons gain the Lethal Hits ability. While this is useful, it does rely on you staying still, which in a game based around movement, is not what you really want to be doing. Certain units, such as artillery and tanks may benefit from this more than other units, such as infantry, who will most likely be moving up to objectives. This does make artillery even more deadly but overall, this is not was useful as it could or should be. Also trying to remember which units have moved and which haven’t to get the bonus is going to be annoying.
There are four Enhancements in this index. All of them can only be used for officer models.
The Death Mask of Ollanius reduced OC for battle shocked units by one rather than reducing it to zero. This means that you will only really look to run this on a platoon/cadian commander in a unit of guardsmen, of any of the four varieties, as this will only half the OC value. On other units it will still reduce the OC to zero and be useless.
Drill Commander grants the units critical hits on a 5+, on ranged attacks, if they stand still. This basically means that the Born Soldiers rule will trigger on a 5+ rather than a 6+. Again, you’ll probably be using this on an infantry but you might drop it in a unit a Kasrkin. Either way this is probably the weakest enhancement, as the units you’d want it to effect cant be and the units it can effect are unlikely to be just sitting around waiting to shoot something.
Kurov’s Aquila can be a very good enhancement or a very bad one, you’ll not really know until you get in to the game. Against some armies, this could be very powerful, pushing up the cost of a key stratagem, which in a game of very limited CP, can be vital. There maybe times, when this enhancement maybe useless, when there are few options to use it on. Most of the time you’ll end up using this to dissuade your opponent from using a stratagem.
Lastly we have Grand Strategist. Again you’ll likely place this on a platoon/cadian command squad or Castellan to enable them to issue a second order. This is the enhancement that i think will get used the most to push up the number of orders that can be issued. This is also one that is useful for the Scions commander. If you equipped him with a command rod and this enhancement, then the unit he is with can benefit from both orders, making a potent squad.
There are also six Stratagems, one that can be used any time, three for your turn and two for you opponents turn.
Reinforcement can be issued any phase but only when a regiment unit is destroyed. Even though it is 2CP, this one will get played quite often and people will look to keep 2CP back for its use. Being able to return a destroyed unit to the board is very useful, especially some of the high power units such as rough riders, sentinels and Kasrkin. I can see this stratagem being used pretty much every game, maybe even multiply times a game, if CP allow it.
Suppression Fire, alongside all the stratagems used in your turn, is used in the shooting phase and causes any unit, except monsters and vehicles, that you hit with an infantry unit to suffer a -1 to hit until the end of your opponents turn. This is useful but even for 1CP there are better stratagems and uses for that CP.
Fields of Fire is a rewording of an old stratagem but the effect is still similar. This stratagem is played on a unit before it shoots and one enemy unit that it hits now has all further hits increased by 1AP. I can see this being useful to get some extra AP on shots, even masses lasguns. It’s pricey at 2CP but could be very useful. I see this being played on a smaller unit, just to get a hit or two in on the target unit, with not expectation it will actually do damage, all your after are those hits. You’ll then hit the unit with the main bulk of your shots from a different unit. Even a unit of marines getting hit by a blob squad of 25 plus guardsmen with lasguns at -1AP are going to take some damage.
The last of the staratagems for your turn is Expert Bombardiers. This cost 1CP and needs a unit with a vox caster to be able to see an enemy unit. When your artillery fires at that unit with an indirect weapon they gain +1 to the hit roll, effectively cancelling out the penalty for firing indirectly. However, it doesn’t say that your have to be firing indirectly, just using an indirect fire weapon, so you could be firing at a unit you can see and still get the +1 to hit. Most of the time i guess you will be firming indirectly to maintain your BS skill. Combine this with an order for +1BS, the sentinels Daring Recon and you can have a mobile 2+BS artillery piece, re-rolling 1’s! It will take a lot to pull that off but there won’t be much that could ignore that.
Armoured Might is used in your opponents shooting phase and is the classic -1 damage stratagem. For 2CP it is pricey and I don’t see it being used much. Against D2 weapons it will be very useful but most anti-vehicle weapons these days are d6 damage weapons and that -1 damage wont do masses. That being said it might just keep your vehicle alive another turn if you play it on a full health unit. Use this stratagem wisely and it could reward you but in general it’s not the best use of CP.
The last stratagem is Inspired command and allows you to play an order on a unit in your opponents command phase. Now, there are very limited reasons you might play this one but they could be very useful when you do. The only orders that spring to mind are Fix bayonets, take cover or Duty and Honour. Move, move, move! is useless as your not going to be moving anywhere, Take Aim! Is similarly useless as you’re going to be over watching and that’s not affected by BS skill. FRF,SRF! Could be useful for firing overwatch but chances are if your unit is in a position to fire, you played it in your command phase. The other three orders are far more likely. Take cover! is going to be useful for keeping a unit alive during the shooting or fight phases and will be played on a unit that you put out in the open to get shots and now need to protect. Fix Bayonets! will be used for a similar reason, you’ve put a unit in the open to shoot and now they need to survive a charge. However, guard are not good at melee to chances are you’ll still go for Take Cover!, unless the enemy are loaded up with high AP weapons. The most likely candidate for this stratagem will be Duty and Honour! to deny your opponent control of an objective and thus victory points. Playing Duty and Honour! boosts your OC up by 1, and this might be enough to just keep hold of an objective and Danny your opponent. Your unlikely to use this much in your turn as you’ll want to maximise your firepower to kill the enemy but it works very well when you don’t have that option. At 1CP this stratagem is not going to break the bank every time you need to use it and i can see it being used quite a bit.